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IFC Sells its Stake in Intercell of Poland to Stora Enso


In Washington, D.C.:
Irina Likhachova

Phone: +202 473 1813

E-mail:
ilikhachova@ifc.org


December 15, 2004, Washington DC – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, sold its 12.4% share in Intercell S.A., one of the largest corrugated packaging companies in Poland, to Stora Enso Oyj, one of the world’s largest integrated forest products companies. The sale is part of Stora Enso’s acquisition from IFC and private investors of a 66% stake in Intercell. The Polish State Treasury holds the remaining shares.

Intercell is one of Poland's largest corrugated packaging companies and the national leader in wastepaper recycling. IFC invested in the company in 1994 to support its modernization and environmental improvement program. Subsequently IFC invested in the company’s rights issues and last year provided a Euro 40 million long-term debt facility to finance further expansions.


IFC also assisted the company in implementing best practices in the insurance, environmental, energy use, and efficiency areas as well as provided expertise in the pulp and paper industry.


“During IFC's 10 years as a shareholder of Intercell, the company has been transformed from an old fashioned pulp mill, to a fully integrated, efficiently managed, market driven and environmentally friendly pulp and paper company. IFC is proud to have participated actively in this positive transition, which has created benefits to all major stakeholders of Intercell,” commented Edward Nassim, director of IFC’s Central and Eastern Europe Department. “Our engagement in Intercell is a show case for IFC’s sustainable business approach.”  


The sale of its share in Intercell reflects IFC’s changing role in Poland following the country’s accession to the EU. As private capital becomes more available in Poland, IFC is limiting its involvement to projects where IFC has a crucial developmental role and where private financing is unavailable. In addition IFC will provide support to Polish companies seeking to invest in other transition and developing markets.


The International Finance Corporation (
www.ifc.org) is a member of the World Bank Group. IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.

Intercell
is one of Poland's biggest corrugated packaging companies, with integrated operations from waste paper collection to corrugated packaging production. The Company has three corrugated packaging plants in Poland, as well as one sack factory in Poland and one in Serbia. Intercell's paper and board mill at Ostroleka, Poland has an annual production capacity of about 250 000 tonnes of containerboard and sack and kraft paper. Its annual corrugated packaging capacity is about 250 million m2. In 2003 Intercell's sales were EUR 150 million, 60% of which was from packaging and 40% from containerboards and paper. Its EBITDA in 2003 was EUR 27 million. The Company employs about 1900 people. Intercell also operates Poland's largest recycled paper collection business, covering approximately 15% of the business in Poland.